Carol Woods and COVID-19 Protocols - Updated July 1, 2020
March 11, 2020 -
-- UPDATED July 1, 2020
As of today, no residents of Carol Woods have tested positive for COVID-19.
Since late March until now, we have tested all staff and have had 9 total positive cases among staff. We notified the public health officials, as required, and have conducted ongoing testing of residents in the health center and staff. In compliance with long-term care testing protocol, a cohort is being re-tested weekly until we have 28 days of no new cases.
Carol Woods was quick to react to news of the spread of the coronavirus by putting many protocols in place in mid-March in an effort minimize exposure. Here is an update of our protocols:
If a resident or staff member has a suspected case of COVID-19
Residents showing symptoms of COVID-19 or residents who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive are tested and required to self-quarantine until they test negative or until symptoms cease. Staff showing symptoms of COVID-19 or staff who have come in contact with someone who has tested positive are not be able to return to work until they test negative or until they meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for returning to work.
If a resident or staff member has a positive case of COVID-19
If a staff member or resident is confirmed to have COVID-19, local and federal health officials are notified. To ensure transparency, Carol Woods will also post an update to this webpage.
Carol Woods will initiate contract tracing and residents who came in close contact with the person testing positive will self-quarantine for 14 days and be tested for COVID-19 in accordance with Health Department guidance. Staff who came in contact with a person who tests positive will self-quarantine at home for 14 days and be asked to contact their doctor or the local Covid-19 Hotline regarding testing.
Residents who test positive who live in Independent Living will stay in their home if they are able to care for themselves. Carol Woods staff will enter the home as needed to deliver services and care. Residents will remain in their home in isolation until they are cleared of COVID-19.
If Independent Living residents are unable to care for themselves yet are not needing care from a hospital, they will be moved to an isolation unit at Carol Woods. Two isolation units in separate, standalone buildings can support up to 14 residents total.
If residents currently living in the Health Center or Assisted Living test positive for COVID-19, they will be moved to an isolation unit in the Health Center.
In April, one staff member tested positive and has since fully recovered at home. Contract tracing and testing resulted in no additional positive cases among residents or staff.
Residents living in the Health Center and Assisted Living
Residents living in our higher levels of support have their temperatures and oxygen levels check daily and are wearing masks if they are able to. All group activities have been canceled and meals are being delivered to residents’ homes.
If residents have been to a hospital, they must self-quarantine in their apartment for 14 days and staff will wear personal protective equipment when entering their homes to deliver services and hands-on care.
Visitors are not allowed in the Health Center of Assisted Living. Staff are assisting residents to engage with their loved ones through telephone calls, video calls and emails and to stay active with many types of one-to-one engagement and trips outside to our gardens and labyrinth."Window visits" are being planned.
Residents living in Independent Living
About 85 percent of our residents live independently in cottages, apartments and townhomes. Residents are wearing masks and practicing social distancing. All indoor activities have been canceled and residents are following social distancing guidelines. Meals and groceries are being delivered to residents’ homes. In accordance with the governor’s safer-at-home orders, residents are asked to stay on campus unless they need to leave for essential items or essential business. The Carol Woods Home Services program and the newly established grocery program are being utilized to make sure residents have what they need.
If residents travel by air or visit a hospital, they must self-quarantine inside of their home for 14 days.
Visitors to campus
Visitors can gather outdoors with residents if they pass screening, maintain social distancing and limit groups to no more than 10 people. We are still restricting all visitors to the Health Center and Assisted Living. Exceptions may be considered in advance, especially in cases involving end-of-life visits.
All staff members are screened as they arrive at work. Screening involves temperature checks and a series of health and exposure questions based on CDC guidelines. All staff are wearing masks. Staff members follow social distancing guidelines unless getting close is necessary to deliver care. Shifts have changed slightly to increase weekend coverage.
Contractors are screened with temperature checks and questions. They are allowed on campus only if their work is essential to the operations of the community. Any work that can wait has been delayed.
All delivery drivers are screened with temperature checks and questions. Packages and groceries are dropped off at a central location and Carol Woods staff delivers the items to individual homes. Packages are placed in a 24-48 hour quarantine depending on the type of packaging.
Other changes and protocols in place around campus:
· All public indoor spaces have been closed. This includes the dining rooms, library, fitness center, pool, craft building and indoor gathering spaces. Outside, residents in groups less than 10 and practicing social distancing and enjoy our community gardens, coquet and bocce courts, labyrinth, walking paths and dog parks.
· In-person activities that have been suspended include: exercise classes, resident meetings, large staff meetings, gatherings of resident committees and special interest groups, staff business travel, campus tours, meetings by outside groups that use our campus, and the volunteer and student programs.
· Our on-site clinic, and physical, occupational and speech therapy services continue for essential needs
· Online exercise classes are offered by staff and residents.
· A grocery program has been established for residents and staff to order essential items which are then delivered to residents’ homes and staff’s work areas.
· The Home Services program, which offers shopping services, continues.
· The cleaning and disinfecting of all public areas has been increased.
· We have completed refresher staff training on the proper method of hand washing as well as other infection-control protocols.
· Hand sanitizers are available throughout campus, although hand washing is encouraged over using hand sanitizers.
· Personal Protective Equipment such as masks, gloves, gowns and face shields are on site with continued efforts to acquire more.
· A staff hardship fund has been created to help staff who are financially impacted by COVID-19.
The Carol Woods Infection Prevention team is continually monitoring reports of COVID-19. We are also following the guidelines of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), NCSPICE (North Carolina Statewide Program for Infection Control and Epidemiology), CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), AHCA (American Health Care Association) and LeadingAge.